BANGKOK -- Thailand coach Kiattipong Radchatagriengkai believes the Philippines’ hosting of the 2016 FIVB World Club Women’s Championship in October can help the country improve its level of competition.
For the first time in 16 years after hosting the 2000 World Grand Prix, the Philippines will once again open its doors to eight of the best volleyball club teams in the world, including Brazil’s Rexona Ades, Asian powerhouse Bangkok Glass of Thailand, and Pomi Casalmaggiore of Italy.
“I congratulate the Philippines for hosting the World Club Championship,” said Radchatagriengkai when SPIN.ph caught up with him during the 2016 FIVB World Women’s Grand Prix at Huamark Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
“I think this is a good chance to develop all the performance of the Philippine volleyball, from management to the coaches and to the players,” he added.
The veteran Thai mentor is aware of the current popularity of the sport in the Philippines as some of his fellow Thai coaches like Tai Bundit and Chamnan Dokmai were able to handle a team in the country. Bundit led Ateneo to its first title in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, while Dokmai called the shots for guest team Est Cola in the Philippine Super Liga Invitational.
“They improved a lot and they have a lot of fans and now the performance of Filipino players grew up a lot,” said Radchatagriengkai.
However, for Filipino players to be able to compete at a high level with other countries, it needs to improve and bring back the good old days just like when the Filipinas turned back his countrymen in the 1993 Southeast Asian Games in Singapore.
“Before, some 30 years ago, Philippines is one of the best team in Southeast Asia and now they try to promote the volleyball and develop volleyball like professional,” said Radchatagriengkai, who’s willing to lend a hand to their Asian neighbors.
“I think they need to improve to world class volleyball, and I think that Thailand is one of the best teams to [help them] develop to the world class,” he added.
While Thai players suit up in some of the club teams in the Philippines, the seven-time SEA Games champion coach for Thailand, looks forward for Filipino players to also join Thai club teams as well.
“I hope that some Philippine player can come and participate in club team in Thailand to show their performance like the professional league they have and Thailand will welcome all the Filipino players,” he said.